According to the PIL the jokes are an infringement on the Sikhs’ right to equality.
Sikh groups to stop Sardar jokesSikh organisations have set up committees comprising former Supreme Court judges to suggest guidelines on enforcing a ban on jokes on Sikhs.
Former Supreme Court judges H S Bedi and M Y Eqbal are members of the committee constituted by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) to formulate measures on how to stop such jokes, which, according to a PIL, are a violation of their right to equality and an attack on the dignity of the Sikh community.
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) too has set up a panel, headed by retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge K S Grewal, to recommend guidelines on how to stop Sardar jokes and for issuance of appropriate directions to the central and state governments to make the ban enforceable.On Tuesday, a bench led by Chief Justice T S Thakur was informed about the committees constituted by the Sikh bodies.
Senior lawyer R S Suri, representing the DSGMC, told the bench that the committee held meetings to come out with guidelines to stop Sardar jokes. Suri added that the committee was in fact looking at the broader framework wherein all such jokes on particular communities could be prohibited and be removed from the Internet. Apart from the former top court judges, the other members of this committee included former law secretary Raghubir Singh and academician Ved Baruah.
The counsel, appearing for the SGPC, also brought to the court’s notice that they have also set up a committee. This panel comprised Justice Grewal, former chief secretary of Punjab Ramesh Inder Singh, vice-chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University Gurmohan Singh Walia and academician Prabhjot Kaur.
Both the counsel submitted that the respective committees shall frame its guidelines soon and the matter can then be taken up.
The bench adjourned the case by six weeks to enable the committees propose a mechanism that would be examined by the court before passing orders.
The petition has been filed by Sikh lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury, who has urged the bench to issue orders to the government for ensuring such jokes are taken off websites and filters are put in place to stop more such jokes on the Internet.
During the previous hearings, the bench had said it did not want any group to be an object of constant ridicule, but wondered how its order to impose a ban on such jokes be implemented.